A “diverse” contingent of public and private sector partners have come together in Barcelona to cement Newcastle’s reputation at the world’s largest conference for smart cities.

The Smart City Expo World Congress took place from November 14 to 17 and saw cities from across the globe sharing the challenges their businesses, citizens and communities face and how innovation and technology can help solve them.

The conference was attended by more than 20,000 people from 134 countries, with cities ranging from Kyoto, Japan and Seoul, South Korea to Madinah, Saudi Arabia and Prague, Czech Republic all represented on the exhibition floor.

Newcastle, which was the only English city exhibiting at the conference, had a “strong presence” across the main event programme and took full advantage of the opportunity to learn from and engage with international stakeholders who have truly transformed their cities for the better.

UK National Innovation Centre for Ageing (NICA) director Nic Palmarini took part in a panel discussion about designing technology to tackle inequality alongside Liverpool City Council Mayor Joanne Anderson and representatives from Tel Aviv, Israel and Bogota, Colombia.

Some of the main themes at Smart City Expo this year included smart mobility innovation and solutions that can model the impact of urban planning decisions before they are made as well as technology that can improve citizen engagement across a wide range of use cases from the circular economy to cyber resilience.

The Newcastle delegation included representatives from Newcastle City Council and NICA as well as fast-growing innovation consultancy Urban Foresight and Monstarlab, a Japanese digital consultancy and product developer that invested in Newcastle in 2021.

Sam Cassidy, Senior Inward Investment Manager at Invest Newcastle, commented: “Smart City Expo World Congress offered a great platform for engaging with global leaders in urban innovation.

“With over 20,000 people in attendance and 134 countries represented, it was important to showcase the world-class assets in Newcastle and promote the city as a leading destination to do business.

“Attending the event with a delegation of public, private and academic representatives further underlined the strength of partnerships in the city and the supportive ecosystem available for potential inward investors.”

By Matthew Neville – Correspondent, Bdaily

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